Tech 2.0 for Monday, August 5, 2013
The Obama Administration stepped in Saturday and overturned a looming ban on older Apple iPhones and iPads. The ban was put in place by the International Trade Commission. It stemmed from a patent dispute on wireless communications between the iPhone maker and Samsung. It's the first time the President has stepped in on an ITC decision since 1987.
Google has a new plan to track down lost Android smartphones. The Los Angeles Times is reporting Google will introduce a new service later this month aimed at helping Android users track down their lost or stolen devices. The tracker will allow users to find the device on a map and ring the phone. It will also give owners the option of remotely erasing stored data.
A research firm says worldwide shipments of tablet computers have slowed down because Apple hasn't released a new model of its trend-setting iPad. IDC says tablet shipments totaled 45.1 million units in the April-June period, down nearly 10 percent from the first three months of 2013. The second-quarter total is up nearly 60 percent from a year ago, a sign that the market is still growing. Tom Mainelli, a research director at IDC, says a new iPad "always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors." Apple normally releases a new iPad in the spring, but has moved to fall launches. Although rivals have released new tablets, IDC says they didn't get the spillover boost that a new iPad would've provided.
CBS says there are currently no negotiations taking place with Time Warner Cable, which stopped carrying the network in select markets on Friday in a spat over fees. The network says in a statement that it had asked the cable provider to continue negotiating while its programming was still on the air. It says Time Warner rejected the request. "We remain ready to negotiate in good faith when they are," CBS says in a statement. A spokeswoman for Time Warner, Maureen Huff, had said earlier in the day that "Talks continue." The standoff means 3 million affected customers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other cities do not have access to CBS.
Idaho Department of Education officials say 203 schools have decided to sign up for a new statewide high school wireless internet contract. Among those opting in are schools in Boise, Idaho Falls, Moscow and Post Falls. The cost is estimated at about $10,300 per school. Education Networks of America won the bid to equip as many as 340 Idaho schools with the wireless Internet access. So far, only about 60 percent of the schools listed in that original bid have signed up. But Education Department spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said the 340 number included middle schools that won't be eligible after all. McGrath said only about 250 schools statewide are eligible for the assistance.
Wyoming residents with an iPhone or Android can help eliminate numerous cellphone dead zones in the state. People can do so by downloading a free app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. The app is called the LinkWYOMING Mobile Test. The mobile test will create a data pool that maps where the state's broadband signals are weak or nonexistent. Troy Babbit is a broadband enterprise architect for the Wyoming Department of Enterprise Technology Services and member of the state's broadband team. Babbit tells the Casper Star-Tribune that the map will help cities, towns, counties and coverage providers fill in the gaps where signals are worst in Wyoming.